2022 was the beginnings of a dream come true. Since starting rallying in 2009, Matthew had the goal of competing for a full season in a top specification car against some real competition.
2022 would prove to be that year. After acquiring a Ford Fiesta R2T for the year, Matthew & Sasha would realise this dream.
Starting the year with a 2nd fastest time in class, this would set the tone for the rest of the year.
A class win on Rally North Wales then lead to a storming run on the Rallynuts Stages. With momentum in the teams favour, 4 out of 6 class wins showed the dominance in the class on this event.
As the calendar fell, just 2 weeks later, the town of Bala in North Wales hosted the Plains Rally. The benefits of a seat time showed at this event, 10 fastest times out of 10 stages, netted another class win and a superb 1st front wheel drive car overall, a great achievement in the 1000cc turbo Fiesta!
After 3 events, Matthew & Sasha held a strong championship class lead.
The Nicky Grist stages would see another strong performance. A good battle with the other R2 specification cars saw the class lead in the favour of Jackson again at the midday service halt. Unfortunately in the afternoon a small technical issue would see the team drop down the leaderboard with some time loss, however, a finish still meant a good haul of championship points.
At this stage, the championship was still wide open with 3 possible scoring opportunities remaining in the year.
The Woodpecker Rally would prove pivotal in the championship. Holding a steady 2nd in class for the morning loop of stages, this would have seen an increase in championship lead taking the battle to the penultimate round. However, the leader of the class retired with a mechanical failure. After this, a string of fastest times saw the 4th class win from 5 events and as so, clinching the class championship.
Aside from the competition side of rallying, Matthew also has a large involvement in the organisation side of the sport. Matthew was the assistant Safety Officer on the Cambrian Rally. As this championship class was now sealed, this left the opportunity for Matthew & Sasha to carry out the 'zero' car role on the Cambrian Rally, combining both the driving and organisation element of the sport. For this, they were fortunate enough to make use of a Bowler Defender Challenge Rally car, another great vehicle to experience!
Rally North Wales – 1st in class, 16th overall interclub
Rallynuts Stages – 1st in class, 3rd Silver star
Plains Rally – 1st in class, 14th overall interclub
Nicky Grist Stages – 4th in class
Woodpecker Rally – 1st in class
Championship Results summary:
Motorsport UK Pirelli Ravenol Welsh Rally Championship:
Class W4: 1st
Front Wheel Drive overall: 1st
Two Wheel Drive overall: 2nd
Front Wheel Drive Drivers: 2nd
In summary, 2022 was the opportunity to show what the team can do and the absolute most was made of this. To take away all of the awards and class wins is a just reward for the time, effort and commitment shown.